...Or, How to Make it Look Like You Don't Have Kids!
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When it comes to kids' stuff, the less of it you see, the more calm and uncluttered your home will feel. To minimize it from your sightline, I suggest designating a central repository (or two) for the majority of playthings to be housed (i.e. kids' room, playroom, basement, etc.). All other areas should be 'no parking' zones for toys in plain sight. (Click here for more on organizing kids' stuff).
Of course, you're going to need that LEGO set or firetruck to occupy your little one while you're in the kitchen making dinner or entertaining in the living room. This necessitates space for a few toys in your main living area. The best way to do this is by multitasking your existing furniture and storage. Below is a list of things that have served as toy storage, while preserving style in our living room.
1. TV Console
Our mid-century credenza does triple duty as a TV stand, junk drawers (more to come on junk drawers in a future post), and toy storage.
The two largest compartments stow toys, puzzles, books and bins of LEGO in all stages of completion. They're intentionally only semi-full to account for the inevitable trickle through of additional toys.
We got the above vintage credenza pre-loved from Guff in Toronto, a few years ago.
Shop this idea:
Manhattan Mid-Century Modern Buffet Stand ($101.29).
Coaster Home Furnishings TV Console ($173.74).
2. Storage Bench
Shop this idea:
Simplii Storage Ottoman ($115.92).
Rivet Storage Ottoman ($54.99).
Baskets are a versatile way to store kids’ toys and books alongside your own miscellany. They're also a great way to add texture to a room. To introduce a further layer of concealment, you can stow the basket where the contents are out of sight, like under this side table in our living room:
Stick to items that lie lower than the basket rim for a cleaner look:
...Or cloak the contents with a throw:
Peek-a-boo, toys--I don't want to see you!
Shop this Idea:
Qliwa Seagrass Basket ($9.37).
4. Unused or Under-utilized Kitchen Cabinets
Just because they're in the kitchen doesn't mean you can't use kitchen cabinets for anything but food and cookware. Even if they're all spoken for, a little purge or rearranging can free up some space. Bonus if you can reclaim one out of the kids' reach. I’m not big on baking, so we use half of the baking tray storage cabinet for more kid's stuff. (I'm a veteran at repurposing kitchen cabinets and used to stash my underwear and socks in unused cutlery drawers in my bachelor suite days).
Our kitchen, just off of the living room.